St. Augustine Prep Blog

Teacher Impact: The Link Between Student Success and Faculty Involvement

Posted November 16th, 2018

Think back to the life skills you learned as a teenager. Whether those were study skills, social skills, athletic skills, or even how-to-navigate-adolescence skills, it’s likely that you recall a significant someone who came alongside you as a teacher and a mentor. It’s well documented that caring teachers who act as trusted advisors are key to helping high school students succeed.

What Mentor-Teachers Do

By providing an encouraging pep talk, following up on academic progress, or serving as a helpful link between home and school, involved teachers can be the “secret sauce” that helps a student feel connected. They’re intentional, savvy, and equipped to identify counseling needs that may arise. 


They’re Strength Trainers

Faculty advisors build relationships with students, help them uncover their strengths and passions, and provide valuable input as they set goals for the future. But the strength training goes beyond academics; caring faculty often serve as trusted confidantes when a student is under stress.


They’re Passionate Professionals

When a teacher is enthusiastic about a subject, that enthusiasm can be contagious! Excellent role-model teachers go the extra mile to explain difficult content. They stay current in their subject, use classroom “best practices,” and look for ways to adapt to multiple learning styles. They know that a teacher’s sincere encouragement can substantially impact a student’s likelihood of success.


Take It from a Student

Senior Antonio Talotta studied chemistry and economics with Mrs. Nancy McHugh, a teacher at St. Augustine Prep since 2005. In his words:

“Without a doubt, Mrs. McHugh brings an unrivaled energy and passion to teaching, which makes her classroom an incredibly special place. She is always searching for the most innovative and effective ways to teach the material. She’s a teacher who greatly cares about her students.

“I can always turn to her for advice, whether related to chemical processes, supply and demand, applying to college, spirituality, or just life in general. She’s known as ‘the Guru’ for good reason: She always knows just what advice to give.  I cannot imagine my time at the Prep without Mrs. McHugh!”


Teaching Isn’t Confined to the Classroom

Mrs. McHugh, co-recipient of New Jersey’s Nonpublic School Teacher of the Year honors in 2015, takes her teaching role seriously:

“Here at St. Augustine, the ability for us to grow a close relationship with the young men we teach is unparalleled. Whether it’s attending their sporting events, school dances, or third-semester trips, being there to support them and show them we are all on the same team is something that is unique to the Prep.”


Discover How the Unitas Program Helps

St. Augustine Prep demonstrates the priority of mentoring through a program called Unitas.  By pairing each new student with a teacher committed to their success both in and out of the classroom, boys don’t get “lost in the shuffle.” From the very beginning of their years at St. Augustine, each boy is known and cared for by an accessible and approachable teacher who acts as an advisor.

A student will stay connected with their Unitas advisor for two years until they transition to the college guidance department in their junior year. The heart of Unitas is helping to develop strong, independent young men who are empowered for success and service in college and beyond.


Learn More

Parents find that scheduling a Shadow Day for their son is a positive first step in discovering the benefits of an all-boys Catholic prep school. St. Augustine Prep welcomes prospective students who want to learn what the Hermit Brotherhood is all about.

Schedule your Hermit for a Day visit